Athletes and celebrities always get special treatment, right? Not when it comes to needing a visa to work in the U.S. Even outstanding athletes, athletic teams and entertainment companies, including circuses, must obtain a temporary, short-term visa. The visa is known as a P visa and is available to qualifying applicants who have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer. There are three relevant types of P visas: P-1, P-2 and P-3.
P-1A visas are available to athletes or athletic teams coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform in a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance. To qualify as an individual athlete, you must be coming to the U.S. to participate in an individual event, competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement. Your high level of achievement must be evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading or well known in more than one country.